Tails from the Vet Clinic: The question that never gets old

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked this…

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I could buy a bottle of really good tequila so I wouldn’t care.

Filed: Tails from the Vet Clinic Tagged: ,
  • Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me. Neither does the “why don’t you become a real doctor” thing. Vets ARE real doctors. It just so happens their patients are animals. And frankly, I think being a vet would be a lot harder than being a doctor for humans. Besides the issue of having to work on multiple species, also having patients who can’t tell you what’s wrong or how they’re feeling makes it even harder to diagnose what’s going on.

    I’m sorry vets have to deal with this. You guys are seriously undervalued.

  • gaelowyn

    As a Licensed Veterinary Technician who has dual bachelor degrees, I feel even MORE of your pain.. since many states don’t require “vet techs” to be licensed or even really educated.. I get asked all the time why I didn’t become a real nurse or a DVM. Ah well.. hopefully you love what you do..

    • Leigh

      I have issue with the whole “vet tech” thing, too. I am not licensed, so I call myself a veterinary assistant. Even though I’ve been in the field for 10 years and do (most) of what a licensed tech does. The girls who go to a veterinary assistant program and get their first jobs and call themselves techs irk me, because they don’t have a BIT of the training that licensed techs do.

      But then on the other hand, sometimes saying I’m a veterinary assistant doesn’t seem to cover the full spectrum of what I do… it sounds like I just stand there and hand the doctor the otoscope, etc… I wish there was another way of classifying us besides “tech.” And “tech” vs. “licensed tech” doesn’t really work. Although I guess a lot of people are “nurses” when they aren’t really RNs. I don’t know…

  • Tonya

    Around my household, vets are held in higher regard that “real doctors!” I can figure out what to do for myself, but sometimes I need help with my pets since they can’t always tell me what’s wrong. You are more real than any other doctors out there! You can pull a tennis ball out of a lab, after all!

  • Too funny. I always crack up with the “I wanna be a vet because I love animals…” oh my… if they only knew. I love animals too, and schooling aside, i seriously doubt I could do surgery on one.

    and frankly, i’ve said this many times to my prior vet (who i sadly can’t see since I moved out of the country) … but I’d rather have HER treat me and manage my health than ANY of the doctor’s I’ve seen and used in the last 10 years. How sad is that? My vet is a better healthcare provider than my doctor.

  • You have to go to SCHOOL to be a vet? I just thought you needed a Barbie Vet Kit.

    Stupid people. Sigh.

  • Oh, so true! You forgot the part where they say, “I couldn’t do your job…it must be so hard to put animals to sleep.” ๐Ÿ™‚
    By the way, thanks for posting the link to my chocolate toxicity calculator…it’s getting good use!
    Dr. Marie.

    • Tonya

      Thank YOU for that calculator! It was reassuring to see just how much my 85-lb lab can get away with and not have to be rushed to the emergency clinic. Not that I intend to let him get away with ANY, but you know what I mean!

  • This is awesome Dr. V! Love, love, love it! Made me laugh this morning. I have had this conversation so many times!

    Did you make this video yourself? Very cool and entertaining.

    We just launched our blog ourselves. I don’t know if you have had a chance to check it out, but I’d love your feedback. Have a great day, and thanks again for the laughs–you even captivated my husband’s attention, and he is NOT easily distracted!

  • Wow! I had no idea some people think of veterinary medicine as some sort of vocational tech program. That’s just sad.

  • wow – seriously? last i was aware of it is actually harder to get into veterinary school and become a vet than it is to go to med school and become a doctor!

  • Kim

    I can’t believe how freaking clueless some people are! My cousin actually went to a vocational high school to study Animal Science because she wanted to get a step ahead of any college pre-vet students (and quit because it was “too hard”). One of my college roommates changed from pre-vet to pre-med because of the competition factor for vet schools.

  • So true! And to look in to those innocent eager eyes of the young daughter standing next to her mom….

    • I try not to crush anyone’s soul until they are at least 18.

      • I totally know what you mean on this. ;-D

  • Lisa W


  • Megan

    That was a good one, Dr. V. I laughed out loud and was all “yeah, sistah!” throughout the whole thing. Real doctors… pshaw.

  • I think people in general are completely unaware that there are actually other careers involving animals other than veterinary medicine. I adore animals but I would never want to be a vet/tech/assistant. But I have found other ways to indulge my love which is just as great!

    • Leigh

      So true! Vet is the go-to profession for people who like animals, when there are plenty of people who are not cut out to be vets (me included). My pre-teen cousin is looking toward working with animals, and she has her eyes set on being a vet. I think this is great, and I’m so excited for her… but I’ve also talked to her about not letting other people pressure her into thinking that it’s the ONLY job for people who like animals. (see: vet tech/asst, animal trainer, zookeeper, dog groomer, petsitter, wildlife rehabilitator, zoo/museum docent etc…)

      • Natasha

        If this whole vet school thing falls through, I’m totally opening up a fancy schmancy cat boarding hotel! There are sooo many awesome animal careers!

  • “Is it like an associate degree or something?”
    That is just crazy!

  • I rather enjoyed this, which isn’t saying much because I really enjoy pretty much every post you write, but this seemed to click with me because I’ve decided to switch my major to biology and hopefully (*fingers crossed*) get into vet school once I graduate. I kind of want to carry this post around with me in my pocket to show all those people when, after learning I want to be a vet, say “it would be so nice to play with puppies all day!” Oh the naive.

  • Natasha

    This video gave me a good laugh….a slightly frazzled, hysterical laugh. I sit here, giving myself a few moments of relaxation after a 9 hour day in organic chemistry and cell biology labs, drinking some caffeinated tea and trying to perk myself up for an evening of frantic studying for the molecular biology midterm tomorrow (which I haven’t done much study for, as the cell biology midterm was Wednesday, and I spent that evening after the test doing post lab reports from last week’s ochem and bio labs, and prelabs for today’s labs,) contemplating the weekend, which will involve me working on Sunday and Monday (to get hands-on animal related experience – important for the vet school apps, dontcha know), pondering at what point I will get a chance to catch up on my organic chemistry reading and prepare for THAT midterm Tuesday. And I can’t forget that there’ll be another two lab reports and pre-labs to get ready for the following Thursday, plus all the usual nightly readings and scientific article review…….and somewhere in there I’m suppose to squeeze in some extracurricular non-animal related activities so they can see that I’m a well rounded person. I keep looking through the phone book at all the veterinarians listed to remind myself that people actually DO make it through all of this, but some days I really wish I wanted to be a chef or a real estate agent, or someone, ANYONE, that doesn’t ever have to know the IUPAC rules for naming organic compounds or how cell signaling works!!! ARGH!